What does it mean to be on mission? Whose mission is it? How do we fit into that mission? Does being on mission solely involve personal evangelism? Are there other things besides making disciples that are involved in being on mission?
I am seeking to find and provide answers to the above questions. I would love your feedback and interaction with this post as I seek to understand our mission.
God’s mission is to redeem all of creation in Christ as seen in Col 1:20, and through the overarching metanarrative of Scripture – Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Recreation.
Our Mission is God’s Mission
I believe the mission of a Christian is to reflect God’s mission. If we are to take up God’s mission, and His mission is to bring redemption to all of creation, then our primary mission and directive is to follow God’s mission. This means the mission we are own is not our own, it is God’s, and we are apart of that mission as His co-workers (1 Cor. 3:9), who are working to bring redemption to all of mankind through the gospel (Col 1:20). God, starting with Israel (Isaiah 43:10-12) and continuing to the church today (Acts 1:8), purposefully set a people aside to take up His mission (Gen. 12, Eph. 1, 1 Pet. 2:9-10), meaning all those who are redeemed are on mission for God, not just vocational pastors.
Our Primary Mission
I believe our primary part, as God’s co-workers, who are on His mission, is to make God’s name known to all people, in order to make disciples (Matt. 28:18-20 and 2 Cor. 5:17-6:1).
Our Secondary Mission
However, our mission also includes confronting idols in people lives (Isa 40-48, Jeremiah 10, Deut 4 and 1 Cor. 10:22) and providing pastoral guidance to Christians (1 Cor. 8-10), so they will live lives radically different than the culture; thus, building plausibility structures for Christianity, which allows for the presentation of the gospel.
Furthermore, if our mission is to mirror God’s mission, we should look after the poor, orphans, and widows (James 1:27; Ps 146:9). As we work to help the underprivileged, alleviating social concerns and fighting for social justice, we create plausibility structures allowing for the proclamation of the gospel, as well as we are helping to redeem all of creation.
Our Secondary Mission Pushes Our Primary Mission Forward
By confronting idols, providing pastoral guidance, and working to help the underprivileged, we build plausibility structures for the presentation of the gospel, as well as work to redeem society. This means our secondary mission works to move our primary mission forward. Therefore, we see the combination of our primary and secondary missions work together to accomplish God’s mission, which is to reconcile all of creation to Christ.
As believers we have been set-aside for God’s mission, not our own (1 Cor. 3:9). Our purpose, as redeemed citizens of heaven, and those who are on mission with God, is to make the gospel known to all peoples. The primary means by which we accomplish God’s mission is through being sent out to make disciples through personal evangelism (Matt. 28:18-20, 2 Cor. 5:20-6:1).
In order to make our evangelism more effective, we must build plausibility structures by performing acts of social justice, confronting Christian’s idols, and providing pastoral guidance, so Christians know how to live. Through these efforts, plausibility structures are built, as well as we work to redeem creation.
However, in all these efforts, we must not forget creation can only be redeemed in Christ, so our ultimate goal in any social justice project, or moral reform in ourselves, or our churches, is for the purpose of presenting the gospel to the nations, so all things will be reconciled in Christ.
In short, God is on mission to redeem all of creation, we are apart of that mission as His elect peoples, and our purpose in that mission is to present the gospel through our actions and words, by which God will redeem all of creation in Christ for His glory.
The Mission of God by Christopher Wright
Contextual and Missional by Tim Keller